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Is it possible to have a disc problem?

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,671
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:21 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
Hello, hope all are doing okay. I have a stupid question to ask all of you. If a steroid injections helps lessen the intensity of your pain, what does that mean? Since it help lower the intensity of my pain (only for 3 weeks), does this mean that there is only swelling going on? Does the injections helping mean I don’t have disc problems? My pain comes and goes,gets worse as the day goes on and get headaches, by the end of the night the pain is really bad, also have stiffness all throughout the day. I am trying to figure out what is possibly wrong with me. I am getting a second injection close to the end of this month and plan to ask my doctor some questions when I go but that wont be for another 3 weeks, and this question is really on my mind. X-rays were done on my neck and the doctor found that my C2 is turned a way it naturally shouldn’t be, and that my neck is straighter than it should be. If these were the only things wrong with my neck, why did the pain only start in the past few months even though I have had these structures problems for long time? The doctor wants me to try physical therapy, but I don’t think he plans on doing any other test right now, and I wonder if I should ask for an MRI.
Thanks in advance for all your thoughts and responses.


  • It sounds like you have tried most of the conservative approaches to your problems. I think it would certainely be time for an MRI to diagnosis exactly which areas hanve problem discs, and which areas have cord impingment, causing the nerves of your neck to cause you pain. You may also need a EMG study, which identifys specific nerves. Steriods help your whole body, but treating symptoms with steroids isn't a long term solution. Good luck with your appt. Let us know how it goes.
  • It is my understanding that the steroids can reduce the inflammation in narrowing discs (or perhaps other issues with the discs). By reducing the inflammation, it MAY help with pinched nerves which in turn can be causing pain and tightness. Steroids do not fix the problem but it could help enough. I do recommend you ask for an MRI so you and the doctor can get a better idea of what you're dealing with.
  • this is only my experience
    i felt better after my first epideral and even better after second, i do have swallowing problems and no gag reflex now
    (I believe from the epideral) after the shots my neck shoulders,felt much better, and best of all tension/migraines got lots better and this lasted for about 6 months
    now this is just my experience, lots of luck, hope to talk to you later
  • I'm assuming you are talking about epidural steroid injections. If your pain is caused from a nerve root being inflamed as a result of a protruding disc pressing on it, the steroid injection could help to reduce that inflammation and reduce your pain. A protruding disc isn't painful in and of itself, it is whatever it is pressing on that causes the problem. For example, if a nerve root is being pressed, it will cause radiculopathy symptoms. If your cord is being pressed, it will cause the numbness and tingling symptoms.

    I was told that the ESI could reduce the nerve root inflammation and swelling enough that the protruding disc could possibly move back into place. Or it may just reduce the inflammation enough to relieve your symptoms for a short time.

    I hope this explanation helps. In a nutshell, the pain is coming from whatever is being "pinched", not from the disc itself. But the disc is probably still the culprit causing the symptoms.

    As always, please remember that I am just a normal person like you, no medical training, so I could be completely wrong with this. Please ask your doctor for more clarification.
    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • Thanks for all your comments. I figure what ever is wrong with my neck cant be that bad, because the pain comes and goes. I probably will ask for an MRI after the second injection on the 19th; especially depending on the results. This way I at less know what is or is not going on, I at less want to kow what is wrong. Thanks again, and any other words of wisdom are still welcomed.
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